Agatha Virgo


Martha Marchina

Original Text

Marchina, Martha. Marthae Marchinae virginis Neapolitanae Musa posthuma. 1701, p. 76.


Vulneribus decorata.

Ubera praecidit geminato vulnere lictor,       Sed formam laedunt vulnera nulla meam. Namque ego purpureo1 coepi decorata colore       Inter Virgineas pulchrior esse nives.

In the title: St. Agatha (231-251 C.E.) made a vow of virginity. When she rebuffed the Roman prefect Quintianus, he had her tortured, which included having her breasts cut off, and thrown into prison. She died in prison, refusing to rescind her vow of chastity and continuing to profess her Christian faith. 1 Purpureus can signify a bloody, reddish-purple color. To help contrast her innocence and purity against the violence inflicted upon her, I made the decision to use red rose to evoke the color.


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